Last week I started a new series ~ “Letter To Me“. As I reflected over my past 19 years of homeschooling, I wrote a letter to myself sharing what wish I had known when I started our homeschooling journey ~ Here’s this week’s letter ~
When you start homeschooling you will be very idealistic, very determined and very scared. You will begin months before and read stacks of books, make choices and form a narrow perspective of how to successfully educate and grow your children. Your ideals, principles and disciplines will be tested and tried, and many will change.
When you start homeschooling, there will be very few other homeschool families, and you will wonder why some flounder and fail and can’t figure out how to homeschool successfully. You will look at some unschooling families with doubt and scorn.
You will wonder how anyone can learn without a strict schedule, timetables, and lessons. And you will strive and stress to “do it right” and it will eat at you at night. Nadene, you will try to teach all . the . time. until you realise that all that effort kills your children’s natural desire to learn. You will push them and pressure them, even punish them, and wonder why it all feels so “wrong” when it is supposed to be so “right”.
To your shame, your junior high child will not do any official tests, exams or formal curriculum for 2 years! Even your husband will think that you have dropped the ball. You will fail. Your kids will fail to measure up. Your ideals will be tested and failure will bring changes. You will learn to adapt, abandon stuff, alter your approach until you find your peace and your children unfold, relax and enjoy learning. There will be days with nothing “to show”, but joy will fill all your hearts. You will trust that your child will flourish when she is ready and she need not have any shame or distress in not being ready.
Remember, you said right at the beginning, “Nothing is cast in stone“? Well, it is true. You will find yourself figuring it out, for each child, all the way, and it will not end up looking anything like you thought it would all those years ago. But it is good.
You will champion Charlotte Mason! Her approach works! You will be amazed at how simple her principles are, yet how challenging and ever just out of reach. Every time you read her words, you will be encouraged to reach higher, go deeper.
May I encourage you to embrace change and failure. It is the way you will learn God’s grace. Let Him dissolve all your glass castles full of your narrow ideals. Lay them down and allow Him to lead you.
When you are distressed and despondent, allow the Lord to restore your soul. He will never leave or forsake you in this journey. Trust Him and it will be good!
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